Field Work Friday – The Oreo Olympics

The Oreo Olympics are here!  We spent a morning playing around with Oreos – and doing a lot of math, too.  To do this activity, each family brought their own package of Oreos – or imitation Oreo cookies – to work with.  Each pulled out a few to eat later, and the rest were used for this project.

We started out with Oreo towers.  The kids assembled themselves into small groups and began working with their package of Oreos.  The idea was to see who could create a tower using the most Oreos.

(I had issues with my camera that day – mainly because I forgot it – so I used my cell phone.  I apologize for the blurriness.)  First, the groups started stacking Oreos ….

but even the smallest ones quickly began to get creative with their towers.

A few people stuck with single towers …

Many others began to experiment with foundations to their towers.

The towers started to get wider …

and then taller …

and then even thicker as the groups began to find ways to incorporate more cookies into each tower.  It was great to hear the kids counting their cookies over and over again (using one-to-one correspondence) and finding stopping places to begin later (counting on) and adding like towers (addition) and balancing cookies (symmetry and physics).

After finishing our towers, we used the cookies as a means of nonstandard measurement.  Instead of measuring with rulers, we measured with cookies!  This is easy for very young children to do and also encourages counting and one-to-one correspondence.  This group didn’t quite have the same vision, so each child measured the length of the table going in a different direction!

Another group did the same thing.  In the end, this is how their measurement looked.

Next we competed for the longest Oreo roll.  This used more nonstandard measurement, because we used the floor tiles to determine how far each cookie went instead of inches or feet.  One talented youngster rolled her cookie for a grand total of 21 tiles – and they weren’t tiny ones!  (We did find that the REAL Oreos worked best for this part of the project.  The generic ones were just too bumpy along the edges.  Just a hint.)

And then, finally, we ate those cookies being held in reserve.  One can only stand to be in a room smelling of Oreos for so long without eating them, you know?  😉

Other activities you could do with Oreos:
– write an “Ode to an Oreo”
– research the history of Oreos
– determine how long you are in Oreos
– determine how heavy you are in Oreos
– make “dirt” pudding
– write an original recipe using Oreos
– determine how many Oreos it would take to cover your desk/table
– write a fictional story about Oreoland

May the best Oreo Olympian win!

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